5 Rounds With Mike Tyson


Leastways that’s what it feels like I have done. Seem to have acquired a chest infection to go with my cold/flu thing. Have been coughing for England, sounds like whooping cough at times. All this coughing is causing my ribcage to ache hence the Tyson reference.

And as for all the tablets…. 4 in the morning for my blood pressure, 2 every 4 hours for the flu capsules and now 3 antibiotic capsules per day for the chest infection. Beginning to sound like an irate rattler.

Hope I can shake this off over the next 48 hours as I’m due to drive up to Chester on Friday

My Prostate and Me – Part 1


Here I am in my 60th year. I have made it through most of my adult life without suffering anything worse than the common cold and the occasional bout of flu. A couple of years back I was diagnosed with hypertension and have been taking tablets ever since to keep things under control. All has been well until earlier this year when I was asked to provide a blood sample as part of the regular monitoring. This time my GP said he noted that I hadn’t been checked for prostate cancer so he added it to the list of things for the lab to check out. Part of their preventive maintenance plan I guess. He told me to call in a couple of weeks to find out the results. and me being me, I forgot all about it and did nothing.

Until ……

Some time later I decided to go and see the doctor about a couple of moles on my shoulder. During the exam I mentioned the blood test and asked about the prostate element. After he pulled up my notes and following some chin rubbing he said “Your PSA is up a bit, perhaps we should book you in for an examination”.

Don’t you think that someone might have said something when my blood test came in ?

After all “No news is good news ….. Right ?”

Did they check the other stuff pertaining to my blood pressure ?

So I was left to go and make an appointment. While I am at the reception desk he calls me back in to the examination room. “Since you are here we might as well do it now” he says. A few minutes later he’s got a rubber glove on and I’m laid down on the couch, facing the wall with my knees tucked up under my chin.

After what can only be described as a “strange and unusual experience” he informs me that his exam was inconclusive, that he really isn’t an expert and feels it would be better if I was examined by someone with more experience. Personally I would rather that he had chosen someone else to practice on.

A week or two later I am up at The QA (Queen Alexandra hospital, Portsmouth) and I’m laid down on a couch, facing a different wall, with my knees tucked up under my chin. This time it is the lovely bubbly Vanessa with the rubber glove. This time I’m told that because I am tall, my prostate is quite high up and perhaps this is why the GP couldn’t feel my prostate. There then ensues a discussion about the length of my GPs fingers, me saying I hadn’t noticed from my position at the time if he had pianists hands and comparisons with Elton Johns chubby pudds. Meanwhile back on the couch… Vanessa thinks that we, I, should have another blood test to compare with my earlier one and that, based on that comparison, a decision would be made as to the need for a biopsy.

An appointment date is set and I am left to arrange a visit to the vampires at my GPs practice. I manage to fit in a  fortnights French holiday in between times, get the blood drawn and await the results.

On Thursday, July 26th, I have a short but bubbly telephone call with Vanessa who informs me that my PSA is once again elevated, that it is probably nothing, but why don’t we, meaning I, have a biopsy just to be sure. You can guess how enthusiastic I am about that. I haven’t been sitting idle, wasting my time. I’ve been on the interweb and found out how these biopsies are performed.

An appointment is made for Tuesday, July 31st. All too soon I am sitting in the Urology Dept waiting room and my name is called. They hadn’t warned me, but en-route to the torture chamber, they ask me to provide a urine sample. If I had known I would have made sure that I had plenty to drink. Needless to say I could not perform. Not a drop. “Stage Fright” says Vanessa.

Once again I find myself with my trollies down round my ankles, laid down on a couch, facing yet another wall, with my knees tucked up under my chin and my bum hanging over the edge. Now that’s an image to scare the kiddies don’t you think.

So the procedure gets underway, cold lubricating gel and the ultrasound wand is put where the sun doesn’t shine, anaesthetic is applied and the numerous biopsy samples are taken with the device clacking away with the sound of an industrial stapler. Job done, my bum is wiped and a man-sized pantyliner applied and I am packed off home, advised not to do anything strenuous. As if.

Thursday, August 30th, and I am once again at the QA. The Urology Dept. waiting room isn’t any more attractive. My name is called and introductions made. This time I am seeing Dr Dominic Hodgson. Where is the lovely Vanessa ?  After the pleasantries I am sitting waiting for Dr Hodgson to give me the “All Clear”.

So it’s all a bit surreal when he tells me that the biopsy has shown that I do in fact have Prostate Cancer.

The Thing


In case any of you are wondering how come I’m posting at 06:00 I’ll tell.

This damn cold, man flu or whatever “The Thing” is, it’s pushing me to the extreme.

I can’t lay down and sleep because when I do I cough. And when I cough I can’t sleep. So you see, it’s easier to get up and read or, as at the moment, blog.

“The Thing”, whatever I have, its been going on for three weeks now. Started with a few days of a mildly sore throat which eventually seem to turn into a cold but without the sneezing. Just when that started to fade away “The Thing” came back with a vengeance. Fresh sore throat, different from the first phase, and everything moved down onto my chest. Since then I have felt like shit.

Headaches, presumably caused by obstructed sinuses, temperature going up and down, eyes watering, nose constantly switching between bunged up to dripping like a leaky tap. Now I have the, previously absent, sneezing. Oh, and did I mention the coughing. The irritating dry cough that no medicine or liquid seems to touch. I have been coughing so long now that upper body from waist to chest feels like I’ve been used as a punch bag.

My wife is exasperated and who can blame her. The explosive coughing must be really irritating to listen to. So far she seems to have avoided “The Thing” although she has been coughing too ….. ?
Fingers crossed that is all she gets.

And today we should have been going to my great-granddaughters first birthday but of course we will stay away. Can’t have either her or mum going down with “The Thing”.